While many argue that monetary and fiscal-policy issues are the central challenges facing America, the US current trade deficit is perhaps the real harbinger of the nation's economic malaise. Since 1992, the US trade deficit for goods and services has exploded from -$2.0 billion to -$40.3 billion in April 2013. Moreover, the US trade deficit for goods alone stood at -$58.6 billion for April 2013 after excluding services.
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The US economy is no doubt confronted with monetary and fiscal-policy matters that require attention. However, society may want to revisit the US trade deficit as the real challenge for the future. The US trade deficit today is unsustainable and something has to give. Either the US begins to export much more, or the US will need to import much less -- plain and simple.